As I take a turn into Siberia’s interior, the roads for normal vehicles come to an end and the adventure really begins. With eastern Siberia devastated by one of the wettest seasons on record, and with the Old Summer Road to Magadan obstructed, I target the infamous Baikal-Amur Mainline tract, a.k.a. the B.A.M. I rip through the first sector, but as I hit more demanding sections I discover that my KTM 690 Adventure R motorbike frame is severely fractured. I find a temporary solution and push on, riding deeper into massive swathes of boundless taiga already tinged with frost, where flooded rivers determine which route I can take. Remote gravel tracks, loose railway gravel, hard-packed, live rail bridges or hazardous collapsed passes and countless unpredictable water crossings form my daily enduro scenario. The B.A.M. is raw, unfiltered forces of nature at work, and with the weather also cooling rapidly I get to feel how tough offroad adventure can actually be.
A KTM 690 rebuild
spawns the ultimate adventure kit
The many technical glitches of this ride dialed up the tension and made this trip unusually tasking, eventually requiring a rebuild of the 690 from the ground up. Go to advrider for the massively detailed and geeky thread.